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Say no to roasted or fried food to keep Alzheimer's away

health and fitness Updated: Feb 05, 2015 20:03 IST
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Eating roasted or fried meat could increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests. The research provides evidence that cooking foods at high temperatures increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

The study looked at the content of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) in diets and clinical studies comparing and compared total AGEs to Alzheimer's disease rates. AGEs are a group of compounds that are combinations of sugars and proteins and other large molecules. They can be formed in the body, and there is a large body of literature on AGEs and Alzheimer's disease, researchers said.

However, AGEs are also formed when food is cooked at high temperatures or aged for a long time such as in hard cheese. AGEs increase the risk of various chronic diseases through several mechanisms including increased inflammation and oxidative stress.

They can also bind to the receptor for AGEs (RAGE). RAGE transports beta-amyloid proteins across the blood-brain barrier and contributes to the development of Alzheimer's
disease. The research is the first to estimate the AGE content of diets from observational studies in various countries, which estimated the link between dietary factors and risk of Alzheimer's disease.

For this purpose, the values for AGE for many types of food were taken from a study by researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. They cooked 549 foods by different methods and measured the AGE content of the cooked food. They found that the higher the cooking temperature, the higher the AGE content.

We found that meat made the highest contribution of AGEs, followed by vegetable oils, cheese, and fish. Foods such as cereals/grains, eggs, fruit, legumes, milk, nuts, starchy roots, and vegetables generally make low contributions to the total amount of AGEs in a diet, either because they are generally prepared at low temperatures or since they comprise smaller portions of diets.

"This epidemiological study supports our previous findings in animals and humans of an important role for dietary AGEs in Alzheimer's disease," Jaime Uribarri and Weijing Cai of The Icahn School of Medicine, said.

"We found that mice kept on a diet high in AGEs, similar to Western diet, had high levels of AGEs in their brains together with deposits of amyloid-beta, a component of the plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's disease, while at the same time developed declines in cognitive and motor abilities," they said.

The research was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.